Q. Re: Rev. 5:8-10. I really appreciate you taking your time to answer my questions. In your last reply you mentioned that the Church is in Heaven in Revelation 5 based on verses 9 and 10. Don’t these verses refer to the 4 living creatures and the elders mentioned in verse 8 and not the redeemed from the rapture?
Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Rev 5:9 And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy art thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and didst purchase unto God with thy blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation,
Rev 5:10 and madest them to be unto our God a kingdom and priests; and they reign upon earth.
A. As I said in our feature article this week, this is a controversial passage and taken by itself its difficult to understand. But even though most of the modern translations read like the one you’ve cited both the King James Version and Young’s Literal Translation put the passage in the first person plural. This supports the belief held by many that the 24 Elders represent the Church. A good case can be made for this view. Also the Greek word for King and Kingdom is the same, differing only by gender. King is the masculine form and is the one that appears in Rev. 5:10. (Kingdom is feminine.) So I think the verse is more grammatically and theologically correct when it’s translated Kings and Priests, which define the Church, rather than a kingdom and priests, which could be anyone really. And there’s no other group that fits the description of verse 9. Finally, the song is more consistent with the context of the passage when it’s sung by the redeemed Church, not by a third party singing about the Church.